Synopsis by Craig Butler
Created to bring to life the horrendous tragedy that shocked the United States, The Sinking of the Lusitania opens with live action footage of a Mr. Beach talking with animator Winsor McCay about the details surrounding the sinking of the ship. Titles tell the viewer that 2,000 passengers, over 200 of them Americans, sailed for Liverpool aboard the Lusitania on May 1, 1915. Although the German embassy had issued warnings against such trips, they were generally ignored by most people. On May 7, the Lusitania sighted the coast of Ireland, nearing the end of its voyage. A German U-boat fires two torpedoes at the ship, the second one decisively sinking it; the ship went down 15 minutes after the first torpedo struck, killing 1,150 people. The film shows the action, including the striking of the ship, the explosions, the fires, lifeboats falling into the sea as a result of the second torpedo, and a steady stream of people and debris falling from the ship into the sea. It also names some of the important people whose lives were lost, and ends with a shot of a woman drowning as she desperately but unsuccessfully tries to keep her child afloat.
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance, High Production Values